(I don’t think it’s laryngitis anymore, but the entire thing is a mystery. I was absolutely miserable yesterday evening and all through the night – fever, chills, nausea – but woke up feeling the same, if not better than, the day before. So.)
But the most important thing is this: My mom came to visit!!!!!!!!!!!1 She was only here a short time so we packed our days full of museums, zoos, sight-seeing, shopping, and eating.
The first thing we did was take advantage of the ridiculously beautiful weather by bringing Penny to the dog park/on a walk. I scared all the animals within a twenty yard radius laughing obnoxiously loud at my mom’s story of walking Gunner when he was an enormous five month old puppy. A woman with a small dog had approached them from the opposite direction and asked if Gunner was friendly. My mom (feeling smug that YES!, her dog WAS friendly!, and she didn’t need to worry about him attacking other dogs! Which was not the case with little Scout, rest in peace) replied in the affirmative, and the two dogs sniffed each other amiably until Gunner inexplicably flattened the poor thing with his giant paw.
After the park we headed to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center for some petroglyph viewing. REAL petroglyphs! Thousands of years old! I live within five miles of an entire hillside of thousands-of-years-old petroglyphs!
We made this for dinner that night – click the link; it will change your life.
The next morning we went to see The Artist (wish we’d seen it before all the hype, because I was disappointed :\). The best part of the entire thing was watching all the octogenarians shuffle in for the show. I knew I wouldn’t need to worry about anyone in front of me texting during the movie:
Next up was lunch at PF Changs with my cousin Katie and aunt Stacey. This was my fortune… sorry it ruined your surprise:
We mentioned to Katie that we might go to the zoo, so what does she do? Fishes around in her wallet and pulls out three tickets. THANK YOU, KATIE!! Admission is $18 per person, so it saved us a shload of cash.
The first thing I saw when we walked in was a giant tank with STINGRAYS YOU COULD TOUCH. I was little-kid excited. One of my favorite memories from living on the East Coast was visiting the Baltimore Aquarium and touching rays there, but I’d never seen anything like it since. I paid the two dollars (it’s like THEY were paying ME to touch their stingrays) and could have spent all day right there. They felt like velvety cooked eggwhite with a little bit of sand sprinkled on top. And they LIKED being touched - they'd pop up to the surface when you put your hand in the water.
Another fun thing at the zoo was this open-air monkey enclosure that you could walk through. The sign said to keep your distance because the monkeys bite, and my palms were sweatier than I care to admit. We emerged unscathed.
OMG LOOK AT THIS ANIMAL!!!
It’s called a gerenuk and I’m obsessed with them. I can’t believe an animal this awesome has existed my entire life and I never knew about it until now. I, of course, had a long day of Googling ahead of me as a result.
The next morning we went to the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale.
THAT IS A REAL INSTRUMENT. Before reading the sign, I'd assumed it was just a giant cello replica. It’s called an octobass (boy you got that boom-ba-do-boom boom-ba-do-boom hey, you got that octobass).
We HAD to take this picture in front of the St Kitt’s display. Those are the exact costumes in the carnival parades on Statia. I was ready to shield my mom’s eyes in case they showed footage of actual Caribbean carnival “dancing” (Search on Youtube for “St Maarten Carnival parade” if you’re feeling adventurous).
Gong! It was cool, but it was also lame because you're only allowed to hit it once.
Later that day we headed to downtown Glendale where we roamed all the antique shops.
This is the pin my mom bought me. (I’ve already received a compliment on it! From a 65 year old man.)
This is where we ate ice cream.
One last story from the visit. My mom told me that her newest piano student completed his first book so she congratulated him and pulled out the next in the series. He was confused because he thought he “was done” after the first, and a little crestfallen when he realized he wasn’t a concert pianist yet.
In conclusion, why can’t I be as funny as my husband? Exhibit A- His comment on my recent post about the sand in my bellybutton (“If you would have waited longer it might have become a pearl.”) Exhibit B- This illustration for the word “hamster” in our DrawSomething match:
See the last story in this blog post for context (and play me already! jessiejensen).